Friday, May 24, 2013

Cannibalism is NOT part of our church

May 24, 2013

Greetings from fat camp! no,no not the kind where you start out fat and they make you skinny, the kind where you start out skinny and they fatten you up.
for reals though.

I don't know why, but the MTC must have some policy about having chichen at every single meal. there's fried chicken, grilled chicken, baked chicken, chicken fajitas, chicken salads, chichen tenders, chicken patties, chichen burgers, chicken tacos, chicken burritos, and chicken fried steak (yep, that's real.) The church much have some serious stock in a chicken company.

It's great here! I've effectivly made friends with anyone who has any accent of any kind whatsoever, (basically because their voices make me swoon) and now I know people from countries whose names I can't even pronounce!

I'm technically on my third week here, but I guess I'm still adjusting becasue every two or three days I'll see a pair of elders walking somewhere with their nametags and go "look! missionaries!" It's pretty sad, really.

Also, the time here is super warped. A common saying is "The days are like weeks and the weeks are like days." I could not discribe it any better. The days go on foreeeeeeever and then you blink and it's P-day again.

So here's a funny story from one of our lessons yesterday: we were teaching an "investigator of the church" a.k.a. my teacher pretending to be a non-member, and it was our "first time meeting her." I thought we were doing pretty well until we said a closing prayer.


A little bit of Spanish background:
There are two words that kinda sound the same.
conocer: to meet
cocinar: to cook


so in the prayer I said "thank you for the opportunity to cook Elva"
Yeah. It was awkward. cannibalism is NOT part of our church.

Speaking of prayers, I hope you guys are feeling like quadrupally blessed because I pray for you ALLLLLLL the time. Partly because I love you so much, and partly because my spanish vocabulary is extreamly limited. It's getting better though, because we pray (no joke, I counted) 10-12 times a day.


If I learn no other Spanish by the time I leave, I will be profish at spouting off prayers.

I love you, I adore you, I pray for you, and I basicially pass out with indescribable joy whenever I receive a letter.;.... like they have to have professional resucitators on hand just in case you write me......(more or less.)

muchas amore y amore y amore

Hermana Thomas

"So for my photo this week, I thought you'd all enjoy a picture that one of the Elders drew of me.........draw your own conclusions about my mood"

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hola hola mis amores!
Bienvinidos a mi semana segundo! (welcome to my second week)
So basically the motto of the first week was "make it to Sunday."
 I heard that from about 847 different people (give or take a few.) "Just make it to Sunday, just make it to Sunday."
And. it's. so. true.
The spirit on Sunday was like a waterfall of continuous awesomeness and now I'm enjoying every minute (give or take a "service" project) of the MTC!
Some things you should know about mi vida aqui (my life here):
This is the first place where everybody hasn't looked at me and winked when we sing "Hope of Israel." I always expect it, but then I remember that they don't even know my first name!
My classroom, (where I go to and from probably 8 times a day) is on the FIFTH FLOOR. Yeah, and we're not allowed to use the elevator unless we're injured or dealthly ill. It's gotten to the point where I'm considering the pros and cons of breaking my own leg. 
.....I kid. But seriously, my calves are going to be crazy toned by the time I get out of this place. Also, I LOVE my teacher. She's from Argentina and doesn't speak too much English. The best thing is that she's 4 foot 9! That's TEENY!! It's super convenient because she's about our height when we're sitting down. I love her to death. I just want to put her in my pocket and take her to California with me.....which I probably could.

Here's a little photo break. this is me and the the sisters in my district. one of them looks EXACTLY like sandra bullock in real life and the other looks like tess from 27 dresses. You can't tell but I have a name tag and everything! (eep!)
My companion and I have agreed to only talk to eachother in Spanish which is.....una adventura (i'm going to let you guys figure that one out on your own.)  We basically don't know how to say anything so we literally have to bring our dictionaries everywhere. It must be so funny to hear us talk to each other because it takes us 5 minutes to speak two sentences. I sometimes break down when I'm telling stories about my previous life (pre-mish) because I to tell stories.
my favorite feeling in the WORLD is getting mail.
my second favorite feeling in the WORLD is wearing pants.
I love you all and I love you all. If you want to write me using "Dear Elder" they print off the letters so I can receive them the very exact same day that you write it! But be sure that you tell me your email/address-that-you-want-me-to-send-a-letter-to IN the letter, because I REALLY want to write you back, but if you don't give me a return addres/email,  I can't.
Shout-out to everyone who has written me already. I love you MUCHO! I cry with joy every time I get a letter. 
more or less.
-Hermana Thomas       

Friday, May 10, 2013

1st P-day

Dear Everyone,
It's way too early for a P-day , but here we are! Let's just begin by saying that I woke up this morning at 5:40 because we had "service" at 6:05. Apparently this entails cleaning out the Elders' rooms and we all establish that SHEET ARE NOT TISSUES! Apparently the Elders are having trouble with this concept. Also...never mind. suffice it to say I am officially scarred.
If you're wondering how I'm liking the MTC (I get this question like 17 times a day in various languages) it's definitely a love-hate relationship. I love the classes for the first two hours, the third is a little difficult to stomach, but that's probably because I have next to no breaks. Learning Spanish is muy dificil, and I can only imagine how difficult it is to be learning a language like Mong or something. Everyone thinks spanish is an "easy language" to learn, but it's still un otro langua! 
My campanera's name (companion) es Hermana Hess, but Hermana Hess is a little difficult for people to say in spanish so she just introduces herself as Hermana Ess. She is the sweetest girl and such a champ to agree to go running with me although we have yet to do that due to various circumstances.  She is from Saratoga Springs so....Bueno.
Also, I forgot to pack the straw with my waterbottle so it legitimetly sounds like a dolphin whenever I drink out of it! My District thinks it's hilarious and sometimes I forget and take a drink in public....i've gotten a few weird looks from people so i just tell them that I'm going dolphin speaking. (most people are not amused.)
Also, the marker that I used to mark my clothes bleeds! My clothes are covered in blue dye. it's pretty attractive.
The number of people I know here is ridiculous. I've seen
Elder Hogan
Elder Mcgee
Elder Jayden
Elder Elskilson
Elder Stuki
Sister Linda (don't remember her last name)
Elder Moffat
Sister Pingree
..there are more but I forget who I've seen.
Also, I definitley have a testimony that the Holy Ghost accompanies missionarries because we've had a few teaching experiences as new missionaries and the Elders.....I'm trying to think of a nice synonym for totally-and-completly-have-no-idea-what-the-heck-is-going-on.
it's an adventure.
I want letters! muchas muchas letters de mis amigos!!!!
I love you all, pray for my Spanish. Es MUY mal.

 love you!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Going, going.....Hopeless!

One treads on sacred ground when writing on Hope's blog but she is not here to either forbid or edit.  Nor does she have access to these final images chronicling the last hours before her departure.  I have spared you the visual of her room and other areas in our home where, like Hansel and Gretel, she carefully marked her path home with clothing, treasured trinkets,  ticket stubs, college and childhood toys and sentimental junk.  It's tempting to leave it all out in an attempt to comfort ourselves that she will follow them back home! However, looking at her happy face gives us courage to let her go and share her sunshine magnified by the light of the gospel with her So. California family.  Today with this girl was an experience in pure joy.  See for yourself!
Hope surrounded by cousins and siblings after being set apart.

Our final run together but my first in a missionary trio with my daughters.

Pressing her love and memory into her beloved nephews.  Hope's free babysitting services will indubitably be missed.

My cousin Katherine volunteers at the mtc every wednesday where she helps sobbing families and ecstatic missionaries part.  I think that's a kind way of saying she gently loads heaving mothers into their cars and makes sure the missionaries are whisked out of sight before moms jump out again.   She looked for us all afternoon and then helped us linger just a tad longer than protocol allowed.  

So, we had been back in our car and driving for about 5 minutes when my phone starts ringing.  I look down and see that the incoming call is from Hope. I quickly announce that this is a cruel joke and not to be played on a mother who has just lost a limb.  My phone keeps ringing.  Again, I protest and refuse to answer the phone thereby hoping not to give the unkind prankster any evil satisfaction.  Again, all in the car deny the deed.  Finally, Allan suggests I answer it.  On the other end is my sheepish missionary daughter confessing she has forgotten to leave her phone with us.  A very kind "information desk volunteer" instructs me in how to retrieve her phone!  I then am put back on the phone with Hope.  I tell her this call does not count as my Christmas call (which is the next time I get to hear her voice.) She tells me it's for Mother's Day then hangs up.  Ta Da, I do get to go into the mtc and feel the magic all over again.  After all, it's a long time until Christmas!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Pre-mish.

Dear Friends, Family, and People Who Stumble Upon This Blog,

Welcome! First of all, I just want to clear things up. The beautiful background picture with the pink sunset and the beach and yadda yadda yadda IS California. It is also NOTHING like where I will be serving. I'm going to Riverside! If you would like a zoomable map of where I will be, feast your eyes on this! 

So basically I'm not near anything that California is famous for. No Disneyland, no golden gate bridge, no beach, no Hollywood....I'm not sure about orange fields though. Must research this further.

I will be speaking Espanol, which will be quite the adventure, as my Spanish right now is basically limited to what I can translate on Bing. (Me gusta helado y pinas.) Furthermore, this is the actual, factual last time that that Hope Thomas in the flesh will be posting on this blog. The remaining posts will be excerpts from the letters that I write home.

ALSO: I would loooooooove for you to write me. I would cry salty tears of uncontrollable joy if you would write me a handwritten letter, since I only have a 40 minutes a week to read AND write emails. But if it's email or nothing, for goodness sakes email me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously though.

My email for the entire mission can be found on the right hand side of this blog, as is my address to which all letters may be sent.

I love you very much. yes, you specifically.

(I can't believe I'm about to say this)
Sister Thomas